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The World War 1 Forum (Page 5)

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Posted by: Young Buzzard {Email left}
Location: Newton Abbot
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2016 at 12:31 PM
Hello Alan,
Can you help, I need information in respect of Ernest Oliver Townsend a private in the Devonshire Regiment Service number 202009. I have been researching servicemen from far and wide only to discover this soldier may have lived in the house opposite mine 100 years ago. Any information will be greatly appreciated . Thank you
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2016 at 7:52 PM

Dear David,
Ernest Oliver Townsend was born on 15th September 1889, the son of John and Jane Frances Townsend of Stouts Cottage, Bunhill, Widecombe-in-the Moor, Exeter, Devon. His father was an agricultural labourer and his mother was a monthly nurse. Ernest was recorded at Stouts Cottage in the 1891 and 1901 censuses. John Townsend died in March 1910 aged 63. In 1911, Ernest was living with his widowed mother at Newpark Cottage, Widecombe Ashburton, Widecombe-in-the Moor. He was a general labourer, aged 21.
Ernest married Susan Warren at Widecombe in 1916.
Only a medal rolls entry exists for Ernest in the military records. Ernest served overseas with the 1st/4th Battalion Devonshire Regiment. He did not go overseas until after January 1917, as the details for his service medals showed only his six-digit Territorial Army number which would have been allotted in January 1917 indicating that was his number when he went abroad. The 1st/4th Battalion Devonshire Regiment was in Mesopotamia in 1917 and was stationed at Amara on the River Tigris defences and along the lines of communication. They ended the war based at Baquaba, north-east of Baghdad. Ernest was demobilized on 6th May 1919. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
After the war Ernest returned to gardening and agricultural work. In 1939 he and his wife lived at Windwhistle Cottage, Poundsgate, near Newton Abbot.
Ernest and Susan’s only child and son, Herbert Leslie Townsend was fatally injured when a car was in collision with his motorcycle on a bend in the Cullompton to Exeter road one rainy evening on July 17th 1939. Herbert was aged 19 and had been returning to his lodgings in Exeter after visiting a girlfriend at Cullompton. Herbert died in hospital from his injuries on July 18th. At an inquest the jury returned the verdict the death was accidental but had been caused by the negligence of the car driver, although it was not criminal negligence.
Ernest appears to have died in 1946.
With kind regards,
Alan

Posted by: Sean Clemenson {Email left}
Location: London Uk
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 6:08 PM
Good evening,

My name is Sean Clemenson and I am the Research Specialist & Digital Content Manager for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage & Education Centre. If you haven’t heard of us, we are the custodians of Lloyd’s Register’s library and archive, offering its resources to the public for free. Our purpose is to enhance public understanding in marine and engineering science and history.

Last week, ahead of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, we launched our brand new First World War crowd sourcing project – HEC needs you!

The project aims to uncover any information regarding the 15 members of staff named in our First World War Memorial at 71 Fenchurch Street. Using materials from our archive, the Heritage & Education Centre team have published the employment and military information of the 15 members of staff that are named in our First World War memorial. The severe loss of life during the First World War often means that the individual lives of those that fought are forgotten. However, the team realise that our archived material, whilst offering a unique glimpse into the past, can only tell so much.

Subsequently, we’re contacting any regimental military groups, heritage centres, ancestry groups asking for any information regarding these 15 men:

1. John E Davis – Gunner, Royal Garrison Artillery
2. Ernest Grainger – Private, 7th Battalion Middlesex Regiment
3. William Greig – Private, 14th (County of London) Battalion – London Scottish
4. William F Hutchison – Sergeant, 10th Battalion Essex Regiment
5. Clifford J Macey – 2nd Lieutenant 28th Couny of London Regiment, Artists and 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment
6. Archibald MacLean – 2nd Lieutenant, King’s Own Scottish Borderers
7. Reginald J Prescott – 2nd Lieutenant, 18th Battalion Lancashire Fusilliers
8. Joseph E Russell – 2nd Lieutenant, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
9. James H Sandhall – 2nd Lieutenant/Captain, Royal Garrison Artillery
10. Joseph C Smith – Honourable Artillery Company
11. Charles T Squires – 2nd Lieutenant, 11th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment
12. J Henry A Walker – Private, 7th Battalion, Essex Regiment
13. Maurice G Wells – 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Field Artillery & Royal Horse Artillery
14. Leslie G West – 2nd Lieutenant, 5th Battalion, London Rifle Brigade
15. Maurice G Boyer – Captain, 116th Heavy Artillery Regiment

If you think our project would be of interest to any of your associates, please do not hesitate to circulate this email. Furthermore, if you would like to find out more about the Heritage & Education Centre’s activities/resources/events, please visit our website. Alternatively, you can also find us on Twitter, Facebook & Vine.

If you'd like to visit the HEC needs you! webpage, please copy this URL into your web browser address bar: www.lrfoundation.org.uk/public_education/Staff-bible-project/

If you have any enquiries about the project please contact me directly via email.

Many thanks & kind regards,
Sean.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 11:50 PM

Dear Sean,
The majority of the names you have were those of commissioned officers who service files are held at The National Archives at Kew. See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/british-army-officers-after-1913/
*
William Greig was Private William Greig, 1644, who enlisted in the part-time Territorial Army’s 14th County of London Battalion (London Scottish) on 1st April 1912. William left London and went to France with the 14th Battalion on 16th September 1914 where the Battalion served under G.H.Q. Troops. On October 31st 1914 the Battalion attacked trenches on the Messines – Wytschaete road. From 8th to 13th November they lost two officers and about 70 men. In November 1914, they served under the Cavalry Corps and on November 14th they were placed in Corps reserve with 1st Brigade. At 4 a.m. on 16th November 1914, the day William Greig was killed, the 14th Battalion marched from a wood, at Hooge, to Westoutre, passing through Ypres and Vlamertinghe. It appears William was killed while on the march, understandably as many men were killed by the shelling of Ypres as they marched through.
William qualified for the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
William has no marked grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres. He was aged 24 when he died, the son of Robert and Sarah Greig who lived at 183 East Dulwich Grove, London.
In the 1911 England census, Robert and Sarah Greig were recorded at that address with their family of eight children. The father, Robert, was a shirt manufacturer. The 21-year-old William was a Lloyds Register Clerk (Classification of Shipping) the seventh child.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Sean Clemenson
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2016 at 3:43 PM

Thank you for the message Alan. I do plan on getting to TNA at some point. By all means if you know of any other individuals/groups who may be interested in our project, please let them know!

The project homepage can be viewed here: www.lrfoundation.org.uk/public_education/Staff-bible-project/
Posted by: Jeremy Dean Thornton {No contact email}
Location: France
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 10:45 AM
Alan,

Whilst watching the Remembrance edition of Country File on the BBC on Sunday, at the Arboretum in Staffordshire it was stated that there were 16000 names on the wall of military personnel who have been killed since the end of WW2. This was a surprise to me and therefore I looked up the Ministry of Defence information and they sate just over 7000 killed and list the conflicts.

I realise that this has nothing to do with your WW1 forum, but I wondered if out of interest you had any comments about the difference?

With kind regards

Jeremy Thornton
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 4:46 PM

Dear Jeremy,
The difference in numbers seems to depend on what causes of death in different circumstances throughout the British Commonwealth were taken into account when calculating the figure of 16,000. I have been unable to find a source for the figure of 16,000. Even the qualifying date in not clear.
The official British Government figures describe “UK Armed Forces personnel who have died as a result of Operations in medal earning theatres” since 1945. The total to November 2014 was 7145. That would not include training, or deaths on duty in the U.K. or other locations that did not qualify for a service medal in a theatre of operations.
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/369400/20141104_UK_Armed_Forces_Operational_deaths_post_World_War_II_O.pdf)
The Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum commemorates “The men and women of our Armed and Merchant Services who have lost their lives in conflict, as a result of terrorist action or on training exercises since the end of WW2. Unlike the World War memorials in towns and villages across the Nation, there is nowhere else that records over 16,000 names of those who have been killed on duty in recent times”.
There is a misnomer in that the Merchant Navy is not an armed force. A description of the Armed Forces Memorial plaque which is in Westminster Abbey says it commemorates regular and reserve forces, as well as the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Merchant Navy members killed in support of the armed forces since 1945. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary has been added. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is a civilian-manned fleet that is owned by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence, whose purpose is to support the Royal Navy in Operations. The memorial plaque at Westminster Abbey was "to remember the sacrifice and heroism in defence of freedom of the men and women who have lost their lives in conflict", whereas the Memorial at the Arboretum includes terrorism and men and women on training exercises. At its opening it was stated a total of 16,000 men and women have been killed in conflict zones since 1945.
The closing date for commemoration by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was 31st December 1947. The earliest qualifying date for casualties being listed on the Memorial is 1st January 1948, although the memorial also lists casualties of the 1947-48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine (Israel). Names are grouped under year of death, within each year grouped under the force in which they served.
It seems unclear whether the memorial names date from 1945 or 1948.
The Royal British Legion describes the Memorial as commemorating men and women who have been killed on duty or as a result of terrorist action since 1948. “On duty” includes areas not in conflict zones.
The standard work on Royal Navy Casualties 1945 – 2008 by Don Kindell which is mainly compiled from original Admiralty documents is categorised by year of death.
It includes the Dominion and Allied navies which were the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Indian Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy, South African Naval Force and Royal Norwegian Navy.
(http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1003-Intro.htm#1945)
These navies broaden the conflicts since 1945 to include India - Malaya - Palestine - China - Cold War - Korea - Canal Zone - Kenya - Aden/Radfan - Cyprus - Malaya - Borneo/Indonesia - Vietnam - Northern Ireland - Oman Dhofar - Falklands - Kuwait/First Gulf War - Bosnia - Kosovo - Sierra Leone - Afghanistan - Iraq.
Note that this includes the Vietnam War. If the total of 16,000 does include the Dominion of Australia prior to 1986, then it could include 974 Australians who were killed in major and minor conflicts between 1947 and 1981 (my arithmetic).
(https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/war_casualties/)
I have used the date 1981 because the constitutional links between Australia and Britain were finally broken by legislation passed by the state, commonwealth and British parliaments which came into force on March 3, 1986, as the Australia Acts. They stated that the British government was no longer responsible for the government of any Australian state and that the Westminster parliament could no longer legislate for Australia.
The number of deaths would be significantly higher than 7,145 if it included the deaths of Crown subjects in the Dominions prior to their gaining independence, and the navies of allied nations included in Kindell’s database.
The United Nations was formed after the Second World War on 24th October 1945 in order to prevent another such conflict. The U.N. Security Council has mandated a military response to an aggressor only twice since 1945 – the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950 and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Now, the U.N. seeks more limited endeavours of “peacekeeping” with numerous qualifications and constraints being imposed after a cease- fire. Milton Leitenberg writing for the Cornell University peace studies programme in 2006 has calculated the number of deaths in conflict between 1945 and 2000 as 40,968,000, rounded to 41 million. See the tables on pages 73 – 79 at:
http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/handle/1903/7964/deathswarsconflictsjune52006.pdf;sequence=1
Whatever the source, the Armed Forces Memorial in Staffordshire has 16,000 names as a round number. It has space for another 15,000 names in the future.
With kind regards,
Alan

Disclaimer: Whilst every care has been taken in preparing this information, the author does not guarantee the accuracy or currency of the content and cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. It has not been my intention to dispute any figures or disparage any commemoration but to try and explain the difference between the figures of 7,000 and 16,000 deaths since 1945.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 7:21 PM

A further note:
There were originally 15,530 names inscribed on the Armed Forces Memorial when it was dedicated.
The BBC website claims a lengthy research programme was undertaken to collate a list of individuals whose names should be included. In a break from tradition it was decided that the list should not be restricted to those killed in battle, but should reflect the special circumstances of serving in the armed forces and the risks undertaken by all service personnel. The research team sifted through the personal records of some six million servicemen and women. The resultant list of nearly 16,000 names is intended to reflect the many ways in which servicemen and women have lost their lives in the course of duty in the last 60 years. The list commemorates those killed in major conflicts but also the victims of accidents and service personnel who lost their lives while carrying out peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/recent/in_living_memory_01.shtml)
How they had access to 6 million personal records is not made clear.
Alan
Reply from: Jeremy Thornton
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 7:43 PM

Alan,

Thank you for a comprehensive answer to my query, it seems to be a complicated situation.

With kind regards

Jeremy Thornton
Posted by: Brian Renshall {Email left}
Location: Rainhill Merseyside
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 8:07 PM
Alan,I have come across a letter sent by a Pte 39112 R.Gaskill to C.L.A. Coy East Lancs Reg Yorkshire Coastal defence which I will précis:

He is making an application for a transfer to his old Regiment the R.Y.A. He says he joined the Territorial Force in 1911 and mobilized at the outbreak of war having overseas service with 2nd E.L.R.Y.A.and earned a discharge in 1916 before being re-mobilized in 1916 when apparently he says he was given to understand he would serve with his 'old unit'.However to his dismay after six months he was sent on approval to 'the tank services' and was not a happy man but was told that if not accepted he would be returned to the R.Y.A..He considered that he had been unfairly treated. The letter was sent from Westborough Soldiers Institute,Scarborough and signed Pte 39112 R.Gaskill.

Can you shed any light on this mans service and what eventually happened to him ? Did he ever get back to his 'old unit' ?
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 11:23 PM

Dear Brian,
There are no records for an R. Gaskill with the number 39112.
The abbreviations in the letter do not initially make much sense, although it is possible 2nd E.L.R.Y.A. was 2nd E.L.R.F.A. – the 2nd East Lancashire Brigade Royal Field Artillery (nicknamed “The Manchester Artillery”) which went to Egypt in May 1915. The Brigade mustered at Chesham Fold Camp at Bury in August 1914.
A Territorial Force (T.F.) soldier initially signed-on for four years. At the outbreak of war he would have signed the Imperial Service Obligation agreeing to serve overseas (which the 2nd East Lancashire Brigade did sign). On mobilisation the part-time T.F. men would be embodied for service under Regular Army terms and conditions of service (embodied into the full-time Regular Army at war). Regular Army terms of service stated that if a man was overseas at the end of his term of engagement he would serve an extra year while abroad. So in 1916, R. Gaskill would have done his five years and was entitled to leave the army, as many such men did. However, there was a catch. In March 1916 compulsory conscription had come into force and if Mr Gaskill was of age, he would be compulsorily called-up again in 1916, having no choice of regiment.
The Tank Corps was formed in July 1917, although before that it was disguised as the Heavy Section of the Machine Gun Corps formed in March 1916. Tank drivers served with the Mechanical Transport section of the Army Service Corps.
In looking for any R. Gaskill within the Territorial Force artillery, I found Gunner R. Gaskell (with an ‘e’) 895, Royal Field Artillery (Territorial) who arrived in Egypt on 4th June 1915 and was “discharged 10/4/16” under Paragraph 392 xxi King’s Regulations (having come to the end of a term of engagement).
This man was Richard Gaskill, but his medal index-card mentions no other regiment or number to indicate any later service. Medal index-cards recorded the details of the man as he was on the day he first went overseas, and don’t always indicate further service, although usually they did identify later regiments.
Richard Gaskill was of 49 Cross Street, Gorton; born in 1892 at Openshaw; who joined the 2nd East Lancashire Brigade Royal Field Artillery on 21st March 1911, aged 19, a baker by trade, working for his father. He was discharged on 10th April 1916, having set sail for Egypt on 16th May 1915 and being allowed to sail home on or about 1st April 1916. He served in the 16th Lancashire Battery of the 2nd East Lancashire Brigade Royal Field Artillery and signed the Imperial Service Obligation at Hilsea, Portsmouth, on 10th November 1914.
Technically, Richard Gaskill was not unfairly treated. He was disappointed, yes, but the Military Service Acts of 1916 compelled every man of military age to serve where the War office wanted him “in the interests of the service”. Had he wanted, Richard Gaskill could have continued to serve with his original unit by extending his term of engagement while on active service. He chose not to and to leave the Army and then find himself subject to the Military Service Acts.
Whether he managed to re-join his Battery is not recorded.
I can’t establish to whom he would have been writing on the Yorkshire Coast Defences in, probably, 1916.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Violet Hemingway {Email left}
Location: Yorkshire
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 7:18 PM
Hello Alan

I am looking for information relating to the wartime service of John Boyes who was killed in action on 18 September 1918. His medal card states Yorks R Pte 1482 and E Kent R Pte 206065. Any further information you could give would be much appreciated.

Kind regards
Vi
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 5:34 PM

Dear Vi,
No individual service record has survived for John Boyes so it is not possible to state his wartime service in detail. The Army medal rolls showed he first went to France on 13th April 1915. He was with the 5th Battalion Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment) which was a Territorial Army battalion with a Headquarters at Scarborough. The Battalion trained at Hull, Darlington and Newcastle-upon-Tyne before sailing to France. It served with 50th Division and was immediately put into battle in The Second Battle of Ypres. John’s name was listed as “wounded” on August 2nd 1915, but he would have been wounded some days before the list was published (Sheffield Independent - Monday 02 August 1915 © Johnston Press via British Newspaper Archive).
On becoming fit again he was transferred to the 4th Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) and then served with the 1st Battalion The Buffs, but it is not clear when.
He was killed on 18th September 1918 with the 1st Battalion The Buffs who served in the 6th Division. They were engaged in the Battle of Epehy on 18th September 1918.
John Boyes has no marked grave and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial which bears the names of over 9,000 men who fell in the period from 8th August 1918 to the date of the Armistice in the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois.
John qualified for the 914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan

Posted by: Frank Rogers {Email left}
Location: Rossendale Lancashire
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 6:51 PM
Alan, I am trying to determine service details relating to Francis Ireson, no 7468 of the East Lancashire Regiment, killed in action on the 3rd May 1915 in Flanders. Any further information you could give would be much appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 11:24 PM

Dear Frank,
Francis Ireson served as a private in the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. He went to France on 23rd November 1914. The Battalion had been in France since 22nd August 1914, so Francis would have been part of a draft of reinforcements. The 1st Battalion was in Flanders and was in trenches the area of Le Gheer from November 1914 to March 1915. In April they were in the line at Ploegsteert and then moved to Zevenkote. On May 3rd 1915 the Battalion had two companies in the Zevenkote line and two in the Haanebeke line. Their trenches were heavily shelled all day and in the evening a half the Battalion (H.Q.; A and B Companies) had to move forward to occupy a gap in the line between 8 p.m. and 10.30 p.m.. At 10.30 p.m. the Battalion started to withdraw from their period in the line for billets at Elverdinghe.
Francis Ireson has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He did not qualify for the 1914 Star as he did not see action before midnight on November 22nd/23rd 1914.
The C.W.G.C. Debt of Honour recorded he was 32 when he was killed. He was the son of the late Ashworth Ireson and Ann Ireson; and husband of Elizabeth Ann Ireson, of 15, Barley Holme, Crawshawbooth, Manchester.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Harry Christopher S {Email left}
Location: Alan Jermyn
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 2:53 PM
Dear Alan ,

Thank you for your help with previous WW 1 relatives , if possible could find which regiment Harry Christopher's ( my wife's Uncle) who joined up at the age of 14 or 16 and came from Falmouth his name was Harry Basset Christopher's he was working for Great western railway in Truro before he went to war , he survived the war and went to Singapore just after .

Best regards

Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 7:12 PM

Dear Alan,
Unfortunately there is no surviving service record for Harry Christophers so it is not possible to state his wartime service. An Army medal roll indicated he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star, he did not serve overseas until some date after January 1st 1916. The medal roll showed he had served in the 5th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment; the 5th Battalion the Durham Light Infantry and the 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. However, it is not possible to say where or when he served. The 5th Durham Light Infantry was reduced to a training cadre in France on 15th July 1918, so that might have been an occasion when he moved to the 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry in France.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Michael Lindsey {Email left}
Location: Canada
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 2:43 AM
Trying to find information about where my grandfather served during WW1.
His name is Francis Herbert Lindsey ( his war medals spelt the surname as Lindsay) and he served with the South Lancashire Regiment. The medals are inscribed with 37596 or 57596 (stamping not too clear) PTE. F.H.LINDSAY. He was born 8th September 1888 in Ickleford, Hertfordshire and discharged in 1920.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 5:05 PM

Dear Michael,
Francis Herbert Lindsey was a farm worker (hay binder) who was called up for compulsory conscription in the Army on 2nd September 1916. He underwent basic training with the 49th Training Reserve and was posted to the 9th Battalion The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment) which was serving in Macedonia. He was allotted the regimental number 37956 and was a private soldier. He sailed to Salonika, Greece, as part of a draft of reinforcements and arrived at the 9th Battalion on 25th April 1917 – just as the Battles of Doiran were being fought (24th & 25th April and 8th & 9thn May 1917). He was in hospital between July and September 1917 and again in the early winter of 1918 when he was treated for Malaria. He was repatriated to England on December 18th 1918 and was treated at the Malaria ‘concentration centre’ at Warrington on Merseyside from 17th February 1919. (The War Office approved a system whereby all cases of malaria in the United Kingdom were concentrated in special malaria wards under specially qualified medical officers, advised by special consultants in malaria, all of whom were charged with the duty, not only giving the patients the best treatment already known, but also of endeavouring to obtain by their experience, reliable scientific results as to the best form of treatment for future use.)
On 21st March 1919, Francis was returned to peace-time duty with the 3rd Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment which at that time was stationed at Wellington Barracks, Dublin. He was discharged from the Army on 16th September 1919.
He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The 9th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment was with 22nd Division. For their engagements see Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail:
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/22nd-division/
and
http://www.1914-1918.net/salonika.htm
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Michael Lindsey
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 10:07 PM

Alan, I gratefully appreciate your reply and information; I had literally spent hours trying to find information with very little success. Again thank you for the service that you provided. I also will try and get more information about an uncle Gunner James David Ward nd forward to you.
Regards and Thanks.
Reply from: Michael Lindsey
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 4:01 AM

James David Ward, Regimental Number 73922, Royal Garrison Artillery Born about 1891.

Would appreciate any additional information as to his service record during World War 1

Thanking you again
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 6:33 PM

Dear Michael,
James David Ward was born on 6th September 1890. In 1916 he was living with his father at 9, Southsea Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. He was an agricultural worker. James was called-up for military service on 4th April 1916. He was 6 feet tall; aged 25, single.
James was posted to 40 Company Royal Garrison Artillery at Port Burgoyne, Dover, Kent, where he underwent basic training. He was then posted to 134 Siege Battery R.G.A. on 12th May 1915. He would remain with this Battery until the end of the war. The Battery sailed from Avonmouth for Salonika, Greece, on 9th August 1916 and remained in Macedonia until 29th August 1917 when it was moved to Alexandria, Egypt, arriving on 5th September 1917 for service in Palestine.
On 1st July 1918 in Palestine, James qualified as a gun layer.
After the Armistice with the Ottoman forces on 30th October 1918, James was retained in Egypt and on 24th April 1919 he was posted to 21st Corps Provisional Composite Battery. He was attached to a transit camp at Port Said, Egypt.
On 15th September 1919 James had arrived at No. 1 Rest Camp at Canterbury, Kent, England.
He was discharged from the Army at No. 3 Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade, at Prees Heath Camp, Shropshire, on 15th August 1919. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
After the war, his address was Fisher Green Road, Newtown, Stevenage. James died in 1974, aged 83.
The war diary of 134 Siege Battery has not been digitised yet. There is an interesting sketch view as seen by James from the gunner’s observation post in 1918, at:
http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-234267141/view
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Prescot
Date: Sunday 13th November 2016 at 9:46 PM
Dear Alan
The next two soldiers were discussed at our meeting last week and the first is:
1. Private C Russell. R.D.F. Wounded at Ypres 22nd May 1914. We feel certain that the initial is C
2. Alex Douahoe. 87th Canadians
Any help again will be much appreciated

Regards
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 8:56 PM

Dear Judith,
The Canadian was Alex Donahoe (also Donahue) who spent more time absent without leave than the 16 days he spent at the Front.
He enlisted voluntarily in the 8th (not 87th) Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force at Valcartier on September 8th 1914; regimental number 1099. He was a thirty-year-old widower with a son, Calvin, aged seven, and a daughter Aged 8. They lived at Kerrobert, Saskatchewan, in central Canada. Alex was a horse groom and had been born at Teeswater, Bruce County, Ontario on December 2nd 1883. He was 6ft tall; brown eyes; black hair.
He sailed for England just a month after enlisting on 3rd October 1914 on board the Royal Mail Steamer “Franconia” of the Cunard Line. As soon as he arrived in England at Larkhill Camp, Salisbury Plain, he went absent without leave on two occasions forfeiting 28 days’ pay. In May 1915 he sailed to France where on 13th May 1915 he was posted as a reinforcement draft to the 58th Infantry Battalion. On May 29th, just 16 days later, he was wounded in both legs by shrapnel. The wounds were not severe but he was transferred to England from No. 9 General Hospital, Rouen, France.
In England he was taken to Liverpool and the Fazakerley No. 1 General Hospital where he was admitted on May 31st 1915. He was transferred to “The Towers”, Rainhill, on June 8th 1915. From there he went to Woolton convalescent depot. On 7th July 1915 he was posted to 32nd Battalion C.E.F. at Shorncliffe Camp, Kent. He immediately got drunk and used inappropriate language to an NCO and was put in detention for four days. On his release he went absent without leave and received a further seven days’ detention.
On 4th September 1915 he was posted to the 11th Reserve Battalion at Moore Barracks, Shorncliffe, where he worked on base duties – when he wasn’t absent without leave, or missing from “sanitary fatigue”, for which he received seven days’ confinement to barracks.
In May 1916, he was moved to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre at Folkestone. On June 3rd 1916 Alex was returned to Canada on board the newly built SS “Missanabie” of the Canadian Pacific Line.
He was discharged from the Canadian Army on 7th October 1916. His military character was “indifferent” (Library and Archives Canada, B2578-S003).
*
C. Russell is problematical. The date is unhelpful as 22nd May 1914 was before war had been declared. There were three men named C Russell in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (R.D.F.). Charles Benjamin Russell, 14086, 8th Battalion, would have been C.B. Russell. He served at Gallipoli and was admitted to hospital on 2nd October 1915 at Cheltenham. He seems less likely to have gone to Oakdene and was finally discharged at Eastleigh on 14th October 1916.
Christopher Russell, 26507, 8th Battalion, was killed in action on 9th September 1916 on the Somme.
That leaves Christopher Russell, private, 5644, 8th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who was gassed on or about 27th April 1916, perhaps at Posen section, Loos. He had gone to France with the 1st Battalion on 15th August 1915 and later moved to the 8th Battalion. He was afterwards transferred to the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment (10348) and was eventually killed in action on the Somme on 4th July 1916.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Pete Thorne {Email left}
Location: Beverly
Date: Sunday 13th November 2016 at 9:11 PM
Hi Alan, I am trying to find out about my Grandfather - James Davidson, bn.26/11/1889 at Nenthorne, Scotland, who served in the Scots Greys throughout WW1. He told me that in 1917 he had volunteered to go over to Russia where he had been taken prisoner. Regards, Pete.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 4:39 PM

Dear Pete,
There is no surviving service record for James Davidson in the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) so it is not possible to state his service or positively identify him. There were two men of named James Davidson listed in the 2nd Dragoons medal rolls who both went to France with the regiment on 16th/17th August 1914, so they were probably regular army soldiers before the war. The medal index-card of one of them, regimental number 2DN/6449, was marked “unofficially reported as a P.O.W. on 2nd June 1915” but there is no record of him in the International Red Cross prisoner records. Both men named James Davidson qualified for the 1914 Star with “Mons” dated clasp, the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Unfortunately, there is no other record for either man.
The 2nd Dragoons fought in 5th Cavalry Brigade which became part of 2nd Cavalry Division. The war diary for the 2nd Dragoons can be downloaded for a fee of £3.45 from:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7351494
The Allies sent an intervention force to Russia in March 1918 but it had to be rescued by men of the North Russia Relief Force who volunteered for the task in 1919 by responding to newspaper appeals.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Pete Thorne
Date: Monday 14th November 2016 at 8:52 PM

Hi Alan, reference my enquiry about James Davidson (13/11/2016. Thank you for the information provided, much appreciated. We're there any records of men from the intervention force who were taken prisoner by the Russians before the North Russia Relief Force rescued them? Regards, Pete.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 4:34 PM

Dear Pete,
I am not aware of any official records of Prisoners of War from the Allied Intervention in North Russia that would be readily accessible. The newspapers at home reported casualties from War Office lists that were published at the time as late as September 1919 and included details of casualties and soldiers who had died while “Prisoner of War in Russia”. The American Red Cross had a delegation there, although it is said many of them were Wall Street bankers and politicians masquerading as Red Cross.
Total British losses in North Russia were 983. Of those 327 were killed in action and 656 men were wounded, died from sickness or freezing, or were missing. Only a handful were Prisoners of War (The Campaign in North Russia, “Twenty Years After”; ed: Ernest Swinton; supplementary volume, p 418). However, "Churchill's Crusade: The British Invasion of Russia" by Clifford Kinvig, states 526 British were killed, which probably includes deaths from illness and wounds.
Red Cross records from Russian Front itself during the First World War are kept in the archives of the Danish Red Cross in Copenhagen as Denmark was a neutral State during the First World War.
The survival rate of Russian documents is very low as a consequence of Revolution and the bombing of Russia during the Second World War.
With kind regards,
Alan

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